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Sunday, 21 September 2014

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Multi-million pound project to install new Barrow pipeline

A MULTI-MILLION pound project to install a pipeline to carry wastewater from a plant in Barrow to Morecambe Bay will race against time and tide when it gets under way next month.

Water company United Utilities needs to build a new 2.5km outfall pipe to carry cleaned and treated wastewater from its plant at Roose safely into the waters of Morecambe Bay.

The £8 million project, which starts in May, can only be carried out while the tide is out and must be completed before the Bay’s internationally protected colonies of wading birds return to overwinter in October.

Project manager Sean McGahan said building the new pipe would be a challenge but was vital to help turn the tide for one of the North West’s most protected marine environments.

He said: “Our current long sea outfall pipe at Barrow discharges the cleaned waste of more than 73,000 people 1.4km out in the mudflats of Roosecote Sands.

“Although it’s done a great job for the community for almost 20 years, it discharges in an area of the mudflats, which is an oasis for rare wildlife and includes the region’s only bed of eelgrass, which is important for wildfowl, wading birds and young fish.”

According to Natural England, Morecambe Bay’s intertidal mudflats support the third highest numbers of wintering and passage waders and wildfowl in Britain, some 220,000.

The bay is a special area of conservation (SAC), a special protection area (SPA), a site of special scientific interest (SSSI), and a RAMSAR site for wading birds.

The new pipe will run under the mudflats next to the sea wall before popping out harmlessly into the side of Walney Channel, nine metres below the top of the training wall.

Mr McGaham said: “We’ve done an awful lot of planning to make sure we can do this work safely and with respect for local people and the environment. We’re working around the overwintering season for birds and will be liaising closely with the port authorities when it comes to working in the Channel.

“People will still be able to walk along the sea wall, although there may be the occasional short temporary footpath diversion from time to time as we take materials and machinery onto the shore.”

Have your say

If the waste water is 'clean and treated' why does it need to be pumped 2.5km out to sea ?

Posted by Paul on 28 April 2014 at 17:37

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